(Un)Motivational Wall Decorations

I don’t know what you’ve got on the walls of your office, although I would imagine it is a piece of paper signed by someone who you never really knew, certifying that you are mentally stable (read: a diploma of some-sort).  In high school, the walls of the classrooms are decorated as if we might learn more from the walls than the teacher.

The decorations all connect to the subject, forcing us to absorb something while in the classroom.  This is, however, an improvement over elementary school, where the walls told us things such as “I try until I succeed” and “Effort leads to success”.  However, because the decorations are educational, high schoolers generally avoid looking at them.

I think if the style of the decorations were changed, they might catch the eye and be more interesting.  Some wall decorations I’d like to see are:

If you learn to read in ninth grade, you won’t have to learn in tenth.

Two plus Two: How to prove that it equals all real numbers greater than or equal to zero.

Why mitosis and meiosis are like the democrats and republicans.

The 1700s were the “stylin’ 17’s”.

French is fun.

You get the idea.  All of the posters are amusing in some way (unless you don’t learn to read until eleventh grade), and are therefore more fun to read.

In the past, it is likely there were no graphically designed posters on the walls of classrooms (using the best graphic design software of the 90’s).  Then, students were stuck staring at bare walls, and not learning anything (other than the fact that the Chinese don’t always make the best drywall).

Looking back over this post, I think some of my slogans are pretty good.  In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if I get a contract from whatever company manufactures educational posters.  I also wouldn’t be surprised if I woke up tomorrow with a third arm.  Not too many things surprise me these days.

Anyway, you’ll know if I was chosen for this job when you walk into class (or back-to-school night, for you parents; or simply to check the wall decorations, for you others) and see a poster saying, “Gullible is written on the wall.  Ha! You looked.  Oh, wait, it is actually written.  Darn, this doesn’t work so well on a poster.  Well, anyways, if you looked, you certainly need a better education.  That’s why you should read twenty minutes a day.”

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  1. the AP history teacher at my school has really good un motivational posters posted in his room. Some of them are look like "Failure: Some times you're just the example of what not to do" or "Determination: Gets you no where if you really suck" and other stuff like that. From a far they look like they inspiring, but they're only trying to kill the spirit of his students. He's a great teacher though.

  2. Funny. I've also seen some real life ones like these, but I imagine any teacher who put them up would have a great sense of humor.

    - Phil

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